Many people don't realize there's a huge difference between email deliverability and actually making it to the inbox. The ability for an email service provider to deliver your email is described and measured as deliverability. But that just means there was a hand-off between the servers that your email was accepted. That does not mean that it's now in your subscriber's inbox. It's not uncommon for an email to have 100% deliverability and 0% inbox placement… with all of your emails going to the spam folder. You need a toolset like Inbox Informant from our sponsors at 250ok to see how you're performing with that regard.
When you send an email for your business, you expect it to simply appear in your subscribers’ inboxes, right? Well, there’s a lot more to getting email delivered than you may expect. Email Service Providers (ESP), like VerticalResponse, do a lot to ensure your email makes it to the inbox, but you play a part in delivery, too. This infographic outlines dos and don'ts you should follow to help your emails make it into the inbox, rather than the dreaded Spam folder.
I'm not in total agreement with all the advice in this infographic. When I worked for an Email Service Provider, we always made the same recommendations; however, after leaving and consulting with many businesses, we saw many companies aggressively utilize third-party lists and use strategies that would draw the ire of nearly every Email Service Provider deliverability consultant. However, we saw them not only get great results, when they were executed well their inbox placement and SPAM complaints were no different than companies who weren't as aggressive.
We ran into it with our own newsletter. Fully delivered for several months, we switched providers to a popular email service provider and they instantly rejected our list with their super-duper list reputation checker… a proprietary system they marketed to everyone as the best of the best. They requested that we send a new message out and request that every subscriber opt-in to the list again. So… they wanted us to send another email communication after we already had permission – no way!
We argued until that ESP allowed us to send to our list (no – it wasn't VerticalResponse). We sent to the list… and not a single complaint was recorded. You have to remember that each ESP has their own servers that have reputations they must protect at all costs. That means they're going to always err on the side of zero risk. Unfortunately, businesses don't often operate in a zero risk atmosphere.
I'm not recommending SPAMMING people you don't have a relationship with. Just that there are some gray areas that you may be surprised work very well.